July 28, 2001: Wines of Patagonia, Argentina

Patagonia is located more than 990 miles south of Mendoza and contains the southernmost planted vineyards in the Americas. It is an extremely cool-climate region with a long, drawn-out growing season and soils that are mostly chalk-based. The grapes that are successful are those that are accustomed to cooler-temperatures such as Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay. Approximately 90% of the Argentinean wine in the U.S. market is from Mendoza, so as of now, the wines of Patagonia are extremely under-represented.

Lucas Nemesio says of Patagonia, “It is a new wine-making valley where we make unique wine, the result of living southern nature, patient human effort, and state-of-the-art techniques… Those who taste it can feel the energy of this wine, born into the southernmost lands of the world.”

Nemesio is located in a small, fertile valley near the town of Neuquen, at latitude 39 degrees south, making them one of the world’s most remote wineries. The winemaking team is 100% Argentine, using grapes that are all handpicked and estate grown. Their wines are unique, terroir-driven, and brand-new to Spirits. We hope you will join us tomorrow night.

The specific wines for the tasting are:

Nemesio Classic Sauvignon Blanc 2010– It’s bright and fresh nose offers scents of tropical fruits and stonefruits, with undertones of grapefruit and citrus. On the palate the wine is lean and very clean with flavors of lime/citrus, cut grass, and wet stone hints. With subdued acid and a juicy finish, this offering is quite approachable and presents excellent value.

Nemesio Classic Chardonnay 2010– This stainless-steel aged Chardonnay offers aromas of fresh pear and white peach with citrus and tropical fruit hints. It is gentle, soft, and mouth-coating with good acid and texture, balanced tropical fruit flavors, and mineral hints, followed by a lingering finish.

Nemesio Classic Malbec 2009– Deep purple/ruby in color with bright berry fruit scents of blueberry, blackberry, and black cherry enhanced with notes of baking spices and sweet tobacco. This unoaked Malbec is a great value with nice balance of fruit, acid, and tannin, and a dry, richly flavored finish.

Nemesio Winemaker’s Selection Blend 2009– A blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 10% Malbec and 10% Pinot Noir. A full-bodied red with scents of black berry fruits and spice with hints of green pepper and earth. It is generous and substantially flavored on the palate with bold, ripe fruits, and cinnamon/pepper spice, complete with a big, balanced finish.

Nemesio Reserve Pinot Noir 2009– This Pinot Noir is from Dijon Clones; it aged 6 months in French oak prior to bottling. Deep, pretty scents of raspberry, black cherry, smoke, and fresh herbs greet the nose. It is juicy and bright on the palate with flavors of briary fruits, cherry, crushed herbs, and mineral, enhanced with lots of acid and a complex, mouthwatering finish.

Nemesio Reserve Malbec 2009– This old-vine Malbec aged in a combination of French and American casks for 12 months prior to bottling. Deep, rich scents of cherry, currant, and plum are followed by a complex, balanced palate. Good acidity and firm tannins are accented by ripe berry fruit flavors with earthy, mineral undertones, and a layered, lingering finish. Although ready to drink now, this Malbec Reserve promises many years of enjoyment.

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